Back in February 2018, Dunkin’ announced its plans to eliminate all polystyrene foam cups in its global supply chain by 2020. Now, the coffee and donut company has announced it’s now well on its way to completing that goal.
In fact, many Dunkin’ locations in the country are now using a new double-walled paper cup, replacing the insulated styrofoam cup that has been housing the chains’ hot drinks for decades. Like the foam cup, the paper cup offers the same heat retention properties. Made from paperboard certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard, the new packaging also comes with the same re-closable, plastic lid that Dunkin’ already offers.
Though more sustainable than foam cups, Dunkin’s paper cups are not totally recyclable as they are still lined with plastic. The lid, however, is made of polypropylene and can be recycled in towns that offer #5 recycling.
Because heat flows through polystyrene cups, customers often add an extra foam cup as insulation. In an effort to make those customers let go of this unsustainable practice, Dunkin’ is helping them warm up to the new paper cups with the launch of the “Consciously Un-Cup-Ling” campaign.
As part of the campaign, Dunkin’ has baristas wearing pins reading “the double cup is breaking up.” The company has also put up billboards touting the campaign’s title or the equally catchy phrase “The Double Cup is Breakin’ Up.” The billboards also feature the hashtag #DoubleCupBreakup, which the company also uses in its social media posts.
— Dunkin' Boston (@DunkinBoston) November 15, 2019
According to the Dunkin’s latest update on its commitment to the environment and people, all New England stores are expected to ditch the foam cups in favor of the paper cups by December 1st. The company also released an image showing which Dunkin’ locations have already converted to paper cups, and which locations are expected to complete the transition in the middle of next year.
Meanwhile, most Dunkin’ locations outside the U.S. are already using paper cups, with the transition set to be completed by mid-2020.
As for why Dunkin’ didn’t make the switch sooner, Scott Murphy, COO of Dunkin, said that the search for a more eco-friendly cup was not easy.
“Finding a replacement for our foam cup has been our No. 1 sustainability issue for many years, but finding the right cup has been a challenge from a supply, cost and guest experience perspective,” explained Murphy. “Our priority has been finding a more sustainable cup that offers the best drinking experience for our guests, and we believe we have done that with the double-walled paper cup, which uses the lid also used on our current cups.”